The seventh stage of the Dakar 2009 rally proved to be the last for title-holder Stephane Peterhansel, as his Mitsubishi engine broke down. Half way through the race, the Mitsubishi team is left with only one driver out of the initial four.
Dominique Serieys, 47, is Mitsubishi Motors' general director. He won the Dakar in 1993 as rally champion Bruno Saby’s co-pilot.
Withdrawal. "Stephane was forced to stop after 57 kilometers (his engine was on fire, editor’s note). When he was back on track, everything was going fine, he was narrowing the gap with the leader Carlos Sainz. Then the same problem occurred again: the motor was overheating. He heard a noise, and realised the engine was damaged. (…). It’s probably linked to his accident two days ago (Peterhansel’s car did several somersaults during stage 5, editor’s note)’
Spirits. ‘We need to put things into perspective. We have won the last seven editions of the Dakar rally. Our rivals have been working hard to get to where they are. For us, things are not over yet. We’re only half way through the rally. Nani Roma (the last Mitsubishi driver still in the race, editor’s note) did very well today."
Day’s rest. "That day isn’t named properly. It won’t be about resting for everybody! We are going to discuss the strategy and focus and Nani’s car…"
STAGE 6: Changing strategies
STAGE 5: Now we're in the thick of it
STAGE 4: 'We mustn’t fall behind'
STAGE 2: 'We're at the same level as the Volkswagens'
STAGE 1: 'With all that dust, there are risks of hitting a motorcycle'
D-1: 'Go to sleep and rest for tomorrow'
D-2: 'Pilots are ready to get started'
Date created : 2009-01-09